New Business Models and Operations Observed In the Coronavirus Era 3/25/2020
The spread of corona virus has is having a significantly impact on businesses where meeting & trade, fashion retail and restaurant industry are perhaps hit the hardest by the corona outbreak so far. Some industries such as grocery are affected by a higher, or uneven demand caused by “corona panic buying” that has put extreme pressure on supermarket supply chain in order to move products quickly. This out-of-stock has also created an opportunity for new and emerging brands to fill the gap, specifically for categories including pantry-filling, cleaning/disinfecting, immunity boosting.
Since the outbreak and the state of lock down, we already see drastic changes as restaurants to adapt and many hospitality and food production companies have not been able to rest a second. Dutch news site NOS reports that since last weekend, 1300 new restaurants registered with home delivery, which means they can still run sales. In Amsterdam small local food grocers come together to sell boxes of mixed fresh produce that also supports local food entrepreneurs.
We have also seen supermarket grocers takes to new operational and business models to adapt.
Here are a few changes we are observing in Europe:
Curbside food pickup – Many restaurants and cafés are adopting to take away models with restrictions on how many people can enter at the same time to reinforce the rules of social distancing.
Adjusted opening times for restock – Making my way to the Dutch Bio-supermarket Marqt in my own neighborhood at 08.30 I was surprised to be met with closed doors with a note that new opening hours are 09.30. Many supermarket are struggling to restock shelves in this era of the new purchase behaviors and are adjusting their opening times to allow time for this task.
Specific opening hours for elderly and vulnerable- We can also see a lot of supermarkets, both in the store but also online platforms making priority for elderly people so that they can do their shopping before stock runs out.
Online delivery – Supermarkets have been working hard open up new delivery slots and some like Ocado has been forced to close down to open up new slots. Many also urge to leave online deliveries to elderly.
Per customer limits – in UK we see that chains such as Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Lidl are imposing limits on the amount that can be purchased on in stock items such as toilet paper, tinned food, hand sanitizers, pasta, rice etc. Others take a different approach, seen in Danish a supermarket: One hand sanitizer, 40 DKR but take two hand sanitizers and pay 1000DKR.
Protecting staff and customers- Retailers such as Tesco and others are introducing social distancing lines one meter apart, while others are putting up protective screens for sale assistants.
One thing we know for certain - the Corona virus has come here to disrupt the business as we know it and created a new business as usual for the supermarkets and many other industries, to set a new post-corona standard.
In an effort to help supermarkets continue doing a great job supplying, we would like to reinforce their message, to be mindful of your buying and other people.
We are all in this together- and we at ECRM both Europe and globally, are continuously looking for ward in which we can help your business continuity during these challenging times. Working from home we continue to support buyers and suppliers to continue doing business by helping supplier and and buyers find eachother. If there is, anyway, we can help, please let us know.